21  February  Posted by Brian Van de Wetering

Track Top Clicks with UTM Parameters

Do you use UTM parameters (UTM = Urchin Tracking Module) to track social profile, status update clicks, and other incoming links? If not, you’re missing some important information that can help you determine which online marketing campaigns are working and which ones are duds.

UTM parameters are tags that are added to a URL for more precise Google Analytics tracking of website visits that result from specific online marketing campaigns.

New York Times best-selling author Neil Patel offers a complete how-to guide to using UTM parameters to help you identify which campaigns are driving the most traffic to your website and boosting revenues for your business.

Adding UTM Parameters to a URL

Google Analytics URL Builder is a free resource that makes it easy to determine UTM parameters for a URL. Depending on your project scope and budget, you may also choose to subscribe to services like Terminus or Effin Amazing that combine tools to more easily build, manage, and analyze your UTM coded URLs.

You can use the following parameters in your URL to distinguish traffic:

Campaign Source | Identify the traffic source, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, etc.

Campaign Medium | Identify the medium such as an email newsletter or cost-per-click paid search, etc.

Campaign Term | When using UTM for a paid search, include a targeted keyword or project code for the ad campaign.

Campaign Content | Identify the format of your campaign, such as a text link, logo link, etc. This section is also helpful when A/B testing ads to see which ad brings in more converting visitors.

Campaign Name | Identify a campaign, such as a website or a specific product promotion.

Best Practices for UTM Parameters

Whatever UTM parameters you use will determine what you see in Google Analytics. Here are some guidelines to make sure your reports are clean and easy to evaluate.

  1. Be consistent with UTM naming conventions. Maintaining standard naming conventions is key to achieving consistent reports. Remember that these results are case sensitive and sorted accordingly. For example, “Launch email” will be tracked separately from “launch email.” Generally speaking, it’s best to stick with lowercase to avoid accidentally splitting results. Also, use dashes instead of underscores to avoid throwing off Google algorithms. Here’s why. Finally, keep UTM naming non-redundant and easy to read. Use distinctive terms in source and medium parameters – eg. source = facebook, medium = post (not facebook post). Create a UTM naming convention guidelines document to keep track of your parameters with multiple team members.
  2. Track your UTM links with a shared spreadsheet. Use spreadsheets to keep a record of tagged links and keep your marketing team on the same page.
  3. Connect UTM tracking data with your CRM (customer relationship management software). Regardless of how many website visitors you capture with a specific social media post or pay-per-click ad, what matters most is how those visits translate into increased revenues. CRMs like SharpSpring and Hubspot help companies better track and fully understand the customer journey from the first click-through to the first sale and repeat transactions.

Read the full article for more tips on creating your UTM parameters and great ideas on how you can get started.

At Parallel Interactive, we know what it takes to transform ordinary marketing programs into powerful, engaging, personalized customer journeys. Contact us for more details.